I have bought many dbrand products. OK. Maybe not “products” but exclusively the skins for laptops and phones. That’s not the point, the point is that I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. So when the Canadian gadget accessories maker revealed a transparent case that boldly claimed that would never turn yellow, I knew we gotta have a go – so put down my hard-earned money for an iPhone 14 Pro Ghost Case. After a month and a half wait, the case has finally arrived today, and well, let’s just say that you should read this review before putting down your hard-earned money on one.
I am a huge fan of packaging and so, it is a must to touch on it. I will give the package a 9/10. It comes in drawer-style packaging made from high-quality, hard carton material. The off-white packaging is as minimalist as it can get with a large Ghost Case branding debossed on it and the dbrand name debossed on the spine. Opening the drawer reveals the case cupped on an “island”. The case is protected by two films, each decorated with a pattern featuring a bunch of Ghost Case logos. That is it. There’s no instruction like some cases do come with even though there is no need for it. Oh, a product barcode can also be found on the box. It is a very collectible box which would have been perfect if not for the damage sustained from shipping and also a less than stellar product.
How do I put it? Hmmm, let’s just say it would have been an excellent case if it wasn’t transparent. I know. Anyone who bought this bought it because of the clear nature that promises not to turn yellow. I am not sure if it will live up to the promise of not yellowing – we will update this review a few weeks later but for now, I have a theory. I believe that dbrand may have cracked the code of a non-yellow clear case but that comes with a price; it is easily scratched. But before we get to that, there is something rather bizarre. When the protective films are removed, there is smudging and what looks like fingerprints on it. Nope, the fingerprints were not mine. They were there when the films were removed.
Things get worse from there. I thought I did use a microfiber cloth to remove the smudges and fingerprints. Well, they got removed alright. But it now has some super fine scratches on the case which shouldn’t not be there. To confirm that the cloth I use isn’t inflicting those scratches, I used it to clean the Skinarama clear case and there was no scratch or fine lines. So, I guess whatever dbrand has done has made the case super susceptible to scratches. That’s not it.
When I wipe the microfiber across the inside and if I pass the MagSafe ring, the cloth kind of draws out gooey stuff like adhesive from the ring. I guess, the glue has yet to dry? I don’t know. Not sure if that contributes to the hairline scratches or not. Another obvious con is that it is a clear case which means it’d always be a smudge/fingerprint magnet.
Moving on… the case is thin, alright. This brings us to the design which is quite brilliant. Unlike most cases that promised all-around protection, this case does not have bulky sides all the way through. It is just 1.2 mm thin but it has a thin, rugged raise strip with textured surface that goes around the circumference of the case. This strip offers drop protection on the device’s weak points while also providing a grippy hold. The case is quite grippy, though not probably not as grippy as the grip case which has a grippy hold across the entire thickness of the case.
However, the bottom does not seem to hug the case as snugly. If you push it will a little strength, you’ll be able to feel a free play on it. You see, the design of the case has a black protective frame that is of soft, presumably shock-absorbing material. This frame has a lip that goes over the front of the device but because the black component is too soft, it lacks integrity. This issue was further exacerbated by the openings for the speaker grilles and the Lightning port. If you push on the lip even lightly, the lip will slip out of place. It is probably nothing but it can be annoying at times if you accidentally push it which, trust me, happens a lot. For a case at this price point, I’d expect it to be better.
The case offers a generously sized port opening which allows different brands of USB-C/Lightning cable to fit. Opening for speaker grills completely clears the ports so that sound is not blocked in any way. It has three buttons, each offering an unusually satisfactory clickery click sensation. Even better than the stock buttons, if you ask me. Access to the slider for iPhone is generous too and does not hinder the operation of the slider.
The case has raised edges on the front as well as around the camera module which protects the screen and lenses when placing the device flat on a surface. For iPhone 14 Pro users, the case does improve the handling of the device. The slightly rounded edges of the case are less “hurting” to the hand.
I do not have a MagSafe charger at hand at the time of this review, so I cannot say if has the best magnetic adhesion.
Overall, it is a case with good handling that improves the handling of the iPhone 14 Pro and offers a good amount of protection without the bulk. But the QC for the clear panels leaves a ton to be desired. If you are OCD like me, you may be offended. If that’s the case, I’d just look elsewhere. To be honest, it is not worth the 50 bucks asking price. My Skinrama may turn yellow but it never scratches unless you put a sharp object to it. Seriously, I cannot imagine how this little guy will perform in a bag with a bunch of other things. Yikes. For the saving grace (maybe?), you’d be able to use this case with select dbrand skins (exhaustive list HERE), so you can have a different look as often as your wallet lets you. I may just do that to avoid staring at the fine lines it has now. Ugh.
- Relatively thin with real protection at vulnerable points
- Super satisfying clickery buttons
- Quite grippy – if it slips, then you must have oil on your hand
- Improve the “handling” of the iPhone 14 Pro
- Easily scratched clear back
- Smudge/fingerprint magnet
- The bottom of the case does not quite fit like a glove
The Ghost Case is available for pre-order for select devices for US$49.95.
Images: Mike for Mikeshouts.com.